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[CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 327]
Subject: [CTA - Brussels Office Newsletter N° 327]
Send date: 2012-06-19 09:45:52
Issue #: 143
Content:
Bulletin CTA

1

This weblog shares information on key ACP-EU programmes and events
from Brussels relevant to agriculture and rural development in ACP countries.


Date : [DATE]
CTA Brussels Newsletter

 

Main events in the week
  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 18/06 to 24/06/2012
  2. Addressing food waste in times of crisis
  3. ACP fisheries meeting in Fiji
  4. GEO-5 meeting reveals results of study
  5. Calls to strengthen trade rules
  6. EFSA Scientific Committee to be renewed
  7. EU eases restrictions on Dominican imports
  8. Potential solutions to ease pressure on scarce resources
  9. 'Figures for the Future'
  10. Sustainable development at the centre of global policy making
  11. Deal on energy efficiency law
  12. No Agreement with EP without a new system of own resources
  13. EU sounds alarm over sharp rise in protectionism across G20
  14. Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy
  15. EU-Mozambique: New protocol adopted
  16. Surplus of the budget year 2011
  17. Multi-annual recovery plan for bluefin tuna - Adoption
  18. GMO cultivation
  19. Climate change and sustainable development to be discussed
  20. ACP-EU updates: key upcoming meetings, trade issues and fisheries


  1. Main ACP-EU events for the week from 18/06 to 24/06/2012
    2012-06-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    European Parliament
    - 18/19 June: Committee on Foreign Affairs
    - 18/19 June: Committee on Development
    - 20/21 June: Committee on International Trade 
    - 18/19 June: Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development
    - 22 June:  Committee on Industry, Research and Energy
    - 20/21 June : Committee on Environment
    Council of ministers
    - 18 June: Meeting of Agriculture and Fisheries Council (AGRI) (Luxembourg)
    - 20 June: COREPER I (Brussels)
    - 20/21 June: COREPER II  (Brussels)
    ACP Group
    - 18 June: 3rd Meeting  of ACP Ministers responsible for Fisheries (Fiji)
    - 20/22 June: Rio+20 - United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)

    You can also read our newspaper “CTA Brussels Daily” (fed by our Twitter account), follow our new Facebook group CTABrussels and our Twitter account CTABrussels to receive up-to-date information on EU-ACP events.




  2. Addressing food waste in times of crisis
    2012-06-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Trade, ACP-EU Policy

    The next Brussels Development Briefing will be held on 26 June from 8.30 – 13h00 on Food Losses and Food Waste. Roughly one third of the food produced in the world for human consumption every year — approximately 1.3 billion tonnes — gets lost or wasted! This briefing wants to address the concerns revolving around global hunger, food security, sustainability and waste recovery.A variety of different actors – farmers, retailers, governments and consumers – involved in the food supply chain contribute to large amounts of global food losses and waste.
    Several strategies are available for the reduction of food losses and waste. However, these strategies are not always known and much action needs to be taken to reduce losses and waste at global, regional and national scale.
    Thus, the objectives of the Briefing are to raise awareness of the causes and impact of food losses and waste in low, medium and high-income countries, increase an exchange of information and expertise relating to strategies and successes in preventing and reducing them and to facilitate networking amongst development partners working in these areas.
    The briefing will be webstreamed.

    You can register online at brusselsbriefings.


    Link See the programme
    Link Register now
    Link Webstream


  3. ACP fisheries meeting in Fiji
    2012-06-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, Archive, Environment, ACP-EU Trade

    Managing sustainable fisheries resources will be the main agenda at the 3rd African, Carribean and Pacific (ACP) Fisheries Ministers’ meeting hosted by the Fijian Government in Nadi on June 18 and 19.
    A statement from Government says that the 100 delegates or so from the ACP region will focus on the regional management of fish stocks apart from other issues pertaining to fisheries.
    Also in the agenda will be discussions on population and nutrition future outlook with regards to food security, optimising returns from fishing, aquaculture and mariculture. Government’s acceptance to host the meeting has been hailed by the ACP.
    Secretary-General, Dr Mohamed Ibu Chambas; who said, “the contribution of the Government of the Republic of Fiji in convening this important meeting is highly appreciated.” Meanwhile, the meeting will also finalise the consideration of a five-year strategic plan of action for fisheries and aquaculture in the ACP region.
    At their second meeting in November 2010, which took place in Mahe, Seychelles, fisheries ministers of the ACP States adopted a resolution addressing climate change and illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, among other issues.
    In the resolution, ACP fisheries ministers: recognised the growing importance of aquaculture in meeting the increased world demand for fish protein in an environment of depleted fisheries resources resulting from overfishing, climate change, pollution and habitat destruction; expressed concern over the threat and impacts of climate change on the fisheries and aquaculture sectors; and recognised that the identification and implementation of appropriate adaptation and mitigation measures would represent a high cost for vulnerable states.

    Source: Fijisun


    Link Read more
    Link 2ND Ministerial Fisheries meeting of the ACP
    Link Caribbean fisheries sector profiled in ACP meeting


  4. GEO-5 meeting reveals results of study
    2012-06-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Archive, Environment, ACP-EU Policy

    UNEP's fifth Global Environment Outlook was launched last Wednesday, June 6. Meetings were simultaneously held in Rio de Janeiro, Brussels and Geneva to reveal the results of the study, namely that significant progress relating to the assessment of 99 environmental goals and objectives has only been made in four: eliminating the production and use of substances that deplete the ozone layer, the removal of lead from fuel, increasing access to improved water supplies and boosting research to reduce pollution of the marine environment. Some progress has been made in 24 goals (climate change, fish stocks, desertification and drought) and little or no progress has been made in 40 goals (climate change, fish stocks, desertification and drought). Further deterioration was revealed for 8 goals (the state of the world's coral reefs), while 14 other goals were unable to be assessed due to a significant lack of data.
    The report emphasizes that an ambitious set of sustainability targets can be met by 2050 if current policies and strategies are modified and strengthened, and that Rio+20 should be used as a catalytic moment to turn sustainable development into a genuine path to progress and prosperity. Specific recommendations are made in the report, such as the necessity for more reliable data, in order to make informed decisions about environmental resources and to measure progress towards meeting internationally-agreed goals; stronger accountability; short- and long-term changes that combine technology, investment and governance measures along with lifestyle modifications; and increased international cooperation for a broader approach to tackling environmental problems.
    The speakers at the GEO-5 launch in Brussels were Matthias Groote, MEP & Environment Committee Chairperson; Jan Dusik, UNEP Europe Acting Regional Director; Jacqueline McGlade, Director-General of the European Environment Agency; Jeremy Wates, Secretary-General of the European Environment Bureau and Marcel Kok, Dutch Environment Authority and Geo-5 author. All of them highlighted the most important conclusions of the report and reacted to questions asked by the audience

    Source: CTA


    Link Read more
    Link GEO-3: Global environment outlook
    Link World remains on unsustainable track


  5. Calls to strengthen trade rules
    2012-06-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade

    According to Pascal Lamy, WTO Director-General, in his comments during a conference on global commodities finance, held in Geneva, governments’ sensitivities on commodities can lead to policies that backfire, sometimes with disastrous results. Therefore the trading community should lobby governments to strengthen trade rules and avoid the pitfalls.
    Speaking of the G-20 Summit, he notably said: “I am concerned by the persistence of finance gaps in the most challenging regions of the world. The lower-income countries where many of you often operate. For this reason, the G-20 Summit in Cannes endorsed the WTO’s recommendations for trade finance facilitation programmes for SMEs in developing countries; in particular, in Africa. I believe that continued G-20 involvement, starting with the upcoming G-20 Summit in Los Cabos, Mexico, will be necessary. This will keep the trade and development communities mobilized […]”

    Source: WTO


    Link Read more
    Link Trade finance
    Link A proposal for an EU Action Plan


  6. EFSA Scientific Committee to be renewed
    2012-06-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Food Policy

    The European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), which is mandated to provide independent scientific advice in a wide range of areas concerning the safety of the EU food chain, has  published the names and accompanying Declarations of Interest of the 167 scientists who will start working with the Authority on its Scientific Committee and eight of its Panels from 1 July 2012 onwards for a three year term.
    Commenting on the new Scientific Committee and Panel composition, Dr. Hubert Deluyker, EFSA’s Director of Science Strategy and Coordination explained “EFSA can only fulfil its mission thanks to the contribution of top scientists employed by national food safety agencies, universities and other research bodies. Their experience gives us the best multi-disciplinary expertise at a level impossible to achieve on our own.  In response to our call for Scientific Committee and Panel members, EFSA attracted a very high calibre of scientific expertise.  The balance between our current and new experts will enable consistency in the quality of work that is expected from us while challenging our thinking to ensure the successful implementation of the Authority’s Science Strategy.”

    Source: EFSA


    Link Read more
    Link Know more about EFSA
    Link Scientific Committee


  7. EU eases restrictions on Dominican imports
    2012-06-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, ACP-EU Trade

    Under EU Regulation EC 669/2009, the intensity of border checks applied to fresh produce imported into the EU is determined by the degree of risk associated with the product. This is established on the basis of information from a variety of sources including RASFF notifications, reports from the Food and Veterinary Office (FVO), Member States, and third countries.
    In 2008 and 2010, pesticides residues were detected which exceeded permitted levels on listed vegetables imported from the Dominican Republic, namely Asian vegetables destined for niche markets in Europe. This resulted in RASFF notification alerts and prompted a series of actions. FVO visited the Dominican Republic in 2008 and 2010, providing a series of recommendations for the national authorities. At the same time border checks on fresh produce imported from the Dominican Republic were increased to a frequency of 50%. Initially this covered a range of fruit and vegetables, but later was reduced to target only listed Asian vegetables.
    Such an intensity of border checks has significant implications for the export sector. It soon triggered a response by both public and private sector players in the Dominican Republic to address the FVO recommendations and to put in place measures to reduce the risk of future residue exceedences. As a result of their robust response, and in recognition of the improved level of compliance with EU pesticide maximum residue limits during 2010-2011, the control frequency for listed vegetables will now be reduced from 50% to 20% (DG SANCO news).

    Source: COLEACP


    Link Read more
    Link COLEACP PIP
    Link DG Sanco


  8. Potential solutions to ease pressure on scarce resources
    2012-06-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Rural development

    The Rio+20 Earth summit must take decisive action on population and consumption regardless of political taboos or it will struggle to tackle the alarming decline of the global environment, the world's leading scientific academies have warned.
    Rich countries need to reduce or radically transform unsustainable lifestyles, while greater efforts should be made to provide contraception to those who want it in the developing world, the coalition of 105 institutions, including the Royal Society in Britain, urged in a joint report released this month.
    The authors point out that while the Rio summit aims to reduce poverty and reverse the degradation of the environment, it barely mentions the two solutions that could ease pressure on increasingly scarce resources.
    Many in the scientific community believe it is time to confront these elephants in the room. "For too long population and consumption have been left off the table due to political and ethical sensitivities. These are issues that affect developed and developing nations alike, and we must take responsibility for them together," said Charles Godfray, a fellow of the Royal Society and chair of the working group of IAP, the global network of science academies.
    In a joint statement, the scientists said they wanted to remind policymakers at Rio+20 that population and consumption determine the rates at which natural resources are exploited and Earth's ability to meet the demand for food, water, energy and other needs now and in the future. The current patterns of consumption in some parts of the world were unsustainable. A sharp rise in human numbers can have negative social and economic implications, and a combination of the two causes extensive loss of biodiversity.

    Source: EurActiv


    Link Read more
    Link Rio+20: towards the green economy
    Link Report by Royal Society


  9. 'Figures for the Future'
    2012-06-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Rural development, Environment, Archive

    Eurostat, the statistical office of the EU, has recently releases today the publication "Figures for the Future – 20 years of sustainable development in Europe? A guide for citizens", in connection with the Rio+20 summit, the United Nations conference on sustainable development.
    This publication of 160 pages presents 70 of the EU Sustainable Development Indicators (SDIs) which are used to measure and monitor the EU Sustainable Development Strategy, in a new and easy-to-understand style.
    As the statistics and sustainable development are often seen as abstract concepts. The aim of this publication is to make them accessible and understandable for all citizens, not only for specialists, using a novel style of presenting data through an interesting story.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link The publication
    Link EU SDIs


  10. Sustainable development at the centre of global policy making
    2012-06-18
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment

    A delegation from the European Economic and Social Committee  (EESC), consisting of President Staffan Nilsson and Members Brenda King, Hans-Joachim Wilms and Lutz Ribbe, will be participating in the UN Conference on Sustainable Development, and take with them the list of key messages that came out of one-year-long consultations with European civil society organisations and other partners from around the world, calling on European political leaders to place sustainable development at the centre of global policy making.
    Participants will be urged to commit to a concrete action plan.
    Source: EESC


    Link Read more
    Link Rio+20-platform
    Link Know more about RIO+20


  11. Deal on energy efficiency law
    2012-06-15
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, ACP-EU Policy, Archive

    Negotiators from the European Parliament, Commission and Council reached a deal on the Energy Efficiency Directive last night (13 June). But it fails to achieve its initial purpose of reaching 20% energy savings by 2020, the Parliament's chief negotiator has warned.
    Claude Turmes, the Green MEP from Luxembourg who was leading the negotiation on behalf of the European Parliament, appeared moderately satisfied after the agreement was struck.
    “This deal will give a boost to Europe's economy and help achieve our energy security and climate goals," he said.
    "The new energy efficiency legislation sets out binding measures, which will go a significant way towards bridging the current gap the EU is facing with regards to meeting its pledge to reduce energy consumption 20% by 2020,” he explained.
    However, just last week, Turmes had calculated that the current compromise would result in only 14.5% total energy savings by 2020, well short of the 20% goal that member states had previously agreed on in principle at an EU summit in 2007.
    Before entering the negotiation with member states and Commission yesterday, the outspoken Green MEP told EurActiv that the Parliament would settle for a 15% energy savings goal as an "absolute minimum”.

    http://www.euractiv.com/energy-efficiency/member-states-strike-deal-eu-ene-news-513301?utm_source=EurActiv%20Newsletter&utm_campaign=294d47d73c-newsletter_energy&utm_medium=email


    Link Read more
    Link Tag: energy efficiency directive
    Link Breakthrough on energy efficiency deal


  12. No Agreement with EP without a new system of own resources
    2012-06-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Policy

    The public debate held Thursday in the European Parliament's Strasbourg  plenary session, on the next post-2013 multiannual financial framework, was an opportunity for the ALDE group leader, Guy Verhofstadt, to warn the European Council against any attempt to ignore the Parliament's request for a new system of own resources.
    M. Verhofstadt said: "A credible Union needs a credible budget. And a credible budget needs credible income. And not a membership fee of 1 %, as if the Union was some local neighbourhood club. Our Union is a political project. It is about building a common future. So we need a direct link, a financial link, between our citizens and the Union.  Not as an additional burden, but replacing the fees paid by the member states.  For my Group the establishing of real own resources is key. Otherwise we will not give our consent to the new Multi- annual Financial Framework".
    For her part Anne Jensen (Venstre, Denmark), spokesman on the MFF for ALDE commended the Danish Presidency who has just presented a negotiation package to be debated at the European Council meeting on 28 and 29 June.
    "This is an important and complex package that refers to sixty legislative proposals in co-decision. Parliament assumes this responsibility because we believe that the EU budget is crucial for growth and employment. For us, however, it lacks an essential element: the flexibility in the management of budget headings, which would facilitate dealing with the unexpected. We need more flexibility if we want to make this package a success."

    http://politicalpress.eu/2012/06/post-2013-financial-framework-no-agreement-with-parliament-without-a-new-system-of-own-resources/


    Link Read more
    Link Proposal for the post 2013 multiannual financial framework
    Link Options for EU Development Cooperation


  13. EU sounds alarm over sharp rise in protectionism across G20
    2012-06-14
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    In a report released Thursday, the EU has identified a staggering increase in protectionism around the world with 123 new trade restrictions introduced over the last eight months – a rise of just over 25%.
    This brings the total number of restrictive measures in place today to 534. In its ninth report on potentially trade-restrictive measures, the European Commission points to a failure by the G20 countries to reducing trade barriers. G20 members have to do more to prevent the introduction of new barriers to trade, and to rectify protective measures introduced since the break-out of the crisis.
    "Clearly G20 members need to seriously step up their efforts to fight protectionism. I am very concerned to see the sharp rise in trade-restrictive measures in the last few months alone", said EU Trade Commissioner Karel De Gucht. "Let us remind ourselves that the G20 pledged to end such practices and that protectionism benefits no one. It sends the wrong signal to global trading partners, it sends the wrong signal to investors and it sends the wrong signal to the business community which relies on a predictable business climate."

    http://europa.eu/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/12/567&format=HTML&aged=0&language=EN&guiLanguage=en


    Link Read more
    Link EU Cautions Against Trade Protectionism
    Link EU slams G20 over trade protectionism


  14. Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy
    2012-06-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, Rural development, Food Security

    The 3174th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Luxembourg on 12 June 2012 reached an agreement on a general approach on the two main regulation proposals of the common fisheries policy (CFP) reform "package":  aquaculture products (12516/11), focusing on market policy issues.
    In addition the Council took note of the Presidency's progress report (10276/1/12) on a proposal for a regulation on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) (17870/11) replacing the existing European Fisheries Fund.
    The general approach on the main proposals of the CFP reform constitutes a political agreement within the Council on the CFP reform pending the future first-reading position of the European Parliament. With regard to the basic regulation on the CFP, the compromise supported by a majority of delegations developed proposals for several outstanding issues: Maximum sustainable yields (MSY; multiannual plans; Landing obligation and discards ban; Transferable fishing concessions (TFCs) and capacity management: as requested by many delegations, the agreement stipulates that TFC systems should be voluntary. On CMO of the markets in fishery and aquaculture products, there is a broad agreement on many issues, in particular the support to fishery and aquaculture producer organisations.


    Link Read more
    Link Agricultural and Fisheries Council debated market instruments and animal welfare
    Link Agriculture and Fisheries Council meeting


  15. EU-Mozambique: New protocol adopted
    2012-06-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Regional Fisheries, ACP-EU Policy, ACP-EU Trade

    The 3174th Council meeting on Agriculture and Fisheries held in Luxembourg on 12 June 2012 adopted a decision on the conclusion of a new protocol setting out the fishing opportunities and the financial contribution provided for by the fisheries partnership agreement between the EU and the Republic of Mozambique (18059/11).
    The partnership agreement in the fisheries sector between the EU and Mozambique was concluded in 2007. The main objective of the protocol to this agreement is to define the fishing opportunities offered to EU vessels as well as the financial contribution due, separately, for access rights and for sectoral support. Following the negotiations, a new protocol was initialled on 2 June 2011 as the previous protocol expired on 31 December 2011. In order to allow EU vessels to carry out fishing activities, the new protocol had be signed and applied on a provisional basis, pending the completion of the procedures for its formal conclusion.


    Link Read more
    Link EU-Mozambique
    Link MEPs endorse fisheries agreement with Maputo


  16. Surplus of the budget year 2011
    2012-06-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, ACP-EU Policy


    Link Read more
    Link EU Budget 2011
    Link UK, Netherlands block 2011 EU budget


  17. Multi-annual recovery plan for bluefin tuna - Adoption
    2012-06-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Regional Fisheries, Food Policy

    The 3173rd Council meeting on Environment held in Luxembourg on 11 June 2012 adopted an amendment to regulation 302/2009 concerning a multi-annual recovery plan for bluefin tuna in the eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean following a first reading agreement with the European Parliament (16/12).
    At its Annual Meeting in 2010, the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) adopted a recommendation amending the recovery plan for bluefin tuna in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean.
    In order to rebuild the stock, the ICCAT recovery plan was modified to provide for a further reduction of the total allowable catch (TAC) to strengthen measures to reduce the fishing capacity and to reinforce the control measures, particularly as regards the transfer and the caging operations for tuna kept in farms.
    The Community has been a party to ICCAT since 1997 and the recommendations become binding on contracting parties which do not object to them. The EU has a responsibility to apply recommendations adopted.
    The purpose of this regulation is to transpose into EU law the ICCAT recommendation modifying the recovery plan for bluefin tuna in the Eastern Atlantic and Mediterranean.

    Source: Council of the EU


    Link Read more
    Link Debate on blue fin tuna ban
    Link Breakthrough in Bluefin Tuna farming


  18. GMO cultivation
    2012-06-13
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : Environment, Food Security, Food Policy, Archive

    The 3173rd Council meeting on Environment held in Luxembourg on 11 June 2012 took note of the presidency's progress report (10883/1/12 REV 1) on a proposal for a regulation amending directive 2001/18/EC as regards the possibility for the member states to restrict or prohibit the cultivation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) in their territory.
    The aim of the proposal is to provide for a legal basis in the related EU legal framework in order to authorise member states to restrict or prohibit the cultivation, in all or part of their territory, of GMOs that have been authorised at EU level.
    The Danish presidency submitted to the Council in March 2012 a compromise text. Although a large number of member states could accept the presidency proposal, it was not yet possible to reach agreement in the Council (7478/12).
    The report notes that since the March Environment Council meeting the presidency has held informal consultations with delegations in order to examine how a change in delegations' position could be achieved. Despite the fact that significant progress has been made, the presidency concludes that a political agreement on the GMO dossier is not possible.


    Link Read more
    Link Main results of the Council
    Link Will Europe Give in to Genetically Modified Foods?


  19. Climate change and sustainable development to be discussed
    2012-06-12
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Environment, ACP-EU Policy

    This week European Commissioner for Development, Andris Piebalgs, will attend in Auckland the EU-Pacific Islands Forum Ministerial Meeting, along with Christian Friis Bach, Minister of Development Cooperation of Denmark, who represents the High Representative/Vice-President of the Commission Catherine Ashton.
    A wide range of issues affecting the region will be discussed, such as climate change, sustainable development, economic stability, growth and trade, and development cooperation. The positions ahead of the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on sustainable development of 20-22 June will also constitute a part of the debate and focus on how the EU and the Pacific could reach a substantial outcome in Rio+20 especially around the adoption of concrete goals and targets supporting the transition to an inclusive green economy.

    Source: European Commission


    Link Read more
    Link Rio+20 Sustainable Development Summit
    Link Rio+20 must result in ‘concrete’ decisions


  20. ACP-EU updates: key upcoming meetings, trade issues and fisheries
    2012-06-11
    NEWSLETTER_CATEGORIES : ACP-EU Trade, Rural development, Aid effectiveness, Environment, Archive, Regional Fisheries, Food Security, Food Policy, ACP-EU Policy

    While the upcoming meetings in Los Cabos and Rio have been catching the attention of the development community, several ACP- EU level events, as well as fisheries opportunities encouraged discussion last week.
    In the light of G-20 Group meeting, which will take place in Los Cabos, Secretary-General Ban Ki moon has stressed the need to find ways to stimulate the global economy, while ensuring inclusive green growth that drives sustainable development.  "We stand at a crossroads. Our common future is at stake", he said. He also took the opportunity to draw attention to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20), as it will bring together the world community, including up to 130 heads-of-state and government to Brazil, who are expected to define steps to be taken toward a more equitable and more respectful position on world resources.
    Of particular note regarding the fisheries sector, the European Commission has spelled out its intentions for fixing fishing opportunities for 2013. Through this annual document the Commission asks for the views of Member States and stakeholders on the setting of Total Allowable Catches (TACs), quotas and fishing effort (days-at-sea) for the following year. The document shows that the Commission's efforts to phase out overfishing are starting to bear fruit. There are now 20 fish stocks in European seas which are known not to be overfished, compared to only 5 stocks in 2009. Reducing TACs in the past years even made it possible to increase some TACs for 2012. This could result in at least €135 million extra income for the fishing industry. Additionaly, the European Commission, on behalf of the EU, and the Republic of Kiribati initialed a new Protocol to the Fisheries Partnership Agreement. This new Protocol will cover a period of 3 years and provide fishing opportunities, which include a reference tonnage of 15,000 tons.
    Other relevant news has focused in particular on trade issues. For example, Germany has donated EUR 1 million to the WTO Global Trust Fundfor 2012, which is aimed at financing technical assistance programmes and training activities for developing and least developed countries with the aim of enhancing their ability to participate effectively in the WTO negotiations and ensure they fully benefit from the results achieved during these negotiations.
    Some headlines also drew attention to the prospective drop in sugar output from Mauritius. According to the Mauritian Chamber of Agriculture, sugar is set to drop by 5.8 percent to 410,000 tonnes this year from 435,309 tonnes in 2011 due to lower rainfall. The Chamber announced in a statement that "growth of the sugar cane plant has been affected by a sharp drop in rainfall at the start of the year in the northern and western parts of the island".
    South Africa is once again in the spotlight. According to Roeland van de Geer, head of the EU delegation to South Africa, the policy of favouring its fellow BRICS members India and China for development funding while shunning the West may backfire on South Africa's ruling African National Congress (ANC). “Attack us - that is fine. It does not matter. But don't say that in this economic period we don't need each other because that undermines the relationship", he states. While the ANC has sent mixed messages to Western countries about how welcome their capital is in Africa's largest economy, a top official said last week that these were decreasing in importance."If you get these remarks without nuance, it spoils a lot. I cannot correct that. The damage is done" Mr. van de Geer stressed.  Speaking of Africa, and according to the South African Trade and Industry Minister, Rob Davies, facing key challenges can make a meaningful difference in terms of growth and development in the continent. An inadequate infrastructure, small and fragmented markets, as well as insufficient diversification of industrial output are part of the homework that Africa must soon address and development actors should support. He recalls that the average growth of the African continent was estimated to be 5.8 percent and that was in contrast with the European Union, which has gone into recession.


    Link Read all news



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Editor: Alejandra Morales (morales@cta.int)

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